Roebling Imperial Robust Porter - Rivertown Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Roebling Imperial Robust PorterRoebling Imperial Robust Porter

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BA SCORE
83
good

251 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 251
Reviews: 51
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 16.58%
Wants: 5
Gots: 57 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Rivertown Brewing Co. visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  7.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Beejay on 10-22-2011

Brewed with imported sweet vanilla beans, cold pressed espresso/coffee & raw cane sugars.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 251 | Reviews: 51
Photo of metter98
3.16/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is very dark amber (near black) in color. It poured with a half-finger high off white head that died down and left patches of bubbles on the surface and a thick ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are faint aromas of vanilla in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of chocolate with notes of vanilla and hints of espresso. As the beer warms up, the vanilla becomes stronger and resembles imitation vanilla extract.
M: It feels somewhat short of medium-bodied on the palate but is smooth with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is easy to drink but would be much more interesting if it had stronger aromas and flavors. The alcohol is well hidden from the taste.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Incredible vanilla cream taste exudes from Rivertown's Roebling Imperial Porter; so much so that the spice adds just as much to the balance of the beer as do any dark malts. But with the influence from that savory spice, a few inconsistencies occur...

Pouring a very dark brown, the beer shares lighter tawny brown highlights along the edges. It's arid, loosely-knit froth rises and then falls quite quickly, succumbing to the alcohol and oils of the beer that's more evident in taste. Void of lace, the beer instead shows light brandy-like legging. It's a rather still beer that takes on slight cask ale appearances.

Aromas a coffee, chocolate, and toffee are wrapped in a cocoon of vanilla that brings a highly succulent scent to the forefront. Both delicate and robust, the darker elements of the beer portray slight caution, but the allure of vanilla is so very inviting.

Chocolate and vanilla command the flavors while nuances of nutty Colombian coffee, walnut oils, bittersweet chocolate, and cola support the dessert-like taste and add moments of much needed complexity. Light woodish bitterness rides just beneath the flavors of dark and sweet and offers timid balance.

Medium-full in body, the beer's fast fleeting carbonation leaves the beer weighted and dense on the tongue. The medium residual sweetness is long and somewhat lumbering indefinite. Yet, the silky smooth vanilla cream textures offer soft velvety textures that makes the lack of dryness and creaminess much more forgivable.

With the beer's overall dull textures, it needs even more power, strength, and depth to pull off the sill appearance and flat mouthfeel. It could also benefit from backing off of the vanilla just a touch to allow carbonation to remain in suspension a tad longer.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.49/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Saw this and passed on it while in Cincy this past summer. Pours deep dark nearly black with cola brown highlights, light khaki tan head dwindles quick as the pour. Aroma has hints of Hershey's chocolate syrup, mild coffee roasts, and hints of creamy vanilla character. The chocolate syrup, baker's chocolate combo comes off up front, very sweet for an imperial porter, it's packing a bit of residual sugar. Okay I just read the six pack holder, imported sweet vanilla beans, cold pressed espresso, and raw cane sugars. It's kind of confused, limited malt profile, big alcohol expression, and one sided sweetness from the raw cane sugars. The coffee additions to give it that acrid bitterness that add some balance with the dark roasted malts. It's totally missing something in the backend of the finish, hits hard with the burnt roasts, sweet sugars, and vanilla upfront and it all disappears. Mouthfeel becomes a bit cloying rich residual sugars overwhelm my palate, throw some of this in some whiskey barrels see how it adds to the beer. Overall, first beer from Rivertown I appreciate at all, so that's a complement.

Photo of smcolw
3.84/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Good starting head (for a bar pour). It leaves a blanket of streaky, non-lasting lace. The color is deep ruby brown where bright light will pass.

Interestingly, I smell berry initially--almost like Hi-C. There's a darker chocolate aroma in the background.

This beer tastes like chocolate milk. Good body with a lower level of bubbles. This is sweeter than most porters. It also doesn't have the harsher flavors of the stronger porters. I like this more mellow offering--it's flavorful without being harsh.

Photo of chinchill
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle served in a Belgian snifter.

Pours clear reddish-brown but looks nearly black in the glass.

Aroma: vanilla, dark roasted malts, coffee and hints of smoke and dark chocolate.

The flavor is a bit sweet, and probably seems more so due to the ample use of vanilla, but there is a clear if mild bitterness too, and some coffee in the finish and aftertaste.

O: well crafted and tasty but not as robust as an "Imperial Robust Porter" should be.

Photo of WoodBrew
3.86/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The Rivertown robust porter....is good. Pours an opaque dark with very thin head and no lace. The scent has hinst of vanilla and coffee. The vanilla is very present in the taste with backdrop of coffee. The mouthfeel is medium with smooth carbonation. overall very tasty.

Photo of bluejacket74
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle. Served in a DFH Signature glass, the beer pours dark brown with about a half inch light tan head that went away quickly. There's pretty much no lacing left on the glass. Aroma is malty and roasty, it smells like roasted malt, coffee, and bittersweet chocolate. The taste is just like the aroma, it's all roasted malt, coffee and bittersweet chocolate, although it does taste better than it smells. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's coating and goes down easy. For $9.99 a 6-pack, I'm not going to have any problems finishing this sixer. Looking at the past reviews for this beer, either I like it more than most people do, or all of the good batches of this beer were sent to Columbus.

Photo of DrDemento456
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Not a bad pour a 1/2 of mocha head that fizzes out rather quickly to just a mild lace ring. Color is a fairly dark amber brown with a red hue yet not pitch black like an imperial porter should be.
S - Smell is amazing with vanilla, oak, chocolate, sweet mocha like coffee.
T - Kind of muddled so I guess the smells were artificial. Fizzy chocolate cream meets some oak and citrus hops. Where is the dry yeast finish is this even a porter? Not offensive just not what I expected from the smell.
M - Kind of creamy with a chewy medium body. Pretty on par.
Overall I guess it's an alright porter reading the label it seemed like a weak porter with a shit ton of vanilla, coffee, and cane sugars added. Expect this going into it.

Photo of Brenden
3.92/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one is dark, almost black but that it lets a little brown peek through. The tan head that forms is small but tight, lasts for neither a long or short time, and leaves just enough spotting to be what I would consider slightly above average in appearance.
There's a bit of a roasted malts note going on here, which isn't traditional but that I do like. Otherwise, some dark cocoa nib comes through strongest. There's the faintest touch of vanilla sweetness that is hard for me to get at first. It comes out more strongly as it sits to counter the robust, malty sort of bitterness.
The body isn't as big as it should be, at an average medium, slightly lacking richness and depth as it goes. It may be that it's only got a bit of smoothness to it, that the carbonation is present but doesn't "move," per se, but whatever it is, it could use a bit more. Otherwise, this is the best or close to it that I've tried from Rivertown to memory.

Photo of barczar
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Nice brown black color, though the cappuccino head faded somewhat quickly.

Aroma is chocolatey, slightly roasty and nutty, with definite vanilla presence.

Flavor is dominated by vanilla, but the roast and chocolate balance is fairly smooth.

Body's a touch full, with minimal carbonation and light alcohol warmth.

Not a huge vanilla fan, but this is a decent porter.

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.39/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

2.5 A: Black color. Half a finger of fizzy tan head that falls quickly and leaves no lacing. I know how coffee can wreak havoc on head retention, so I went easy on them.

3.5 S: Loads of vanilla in this with coffee secondary. Smells like something too sweet that you might order from Starbucks. Perhaps a hint of chocolate, but it's hard to tell since the vanilla and coffee are quite strong. Doesn't really smell a lot like beer, but it's pleasant nonetheless.

3.5 T: Again, not a lot of beer flavor in this beer, but it's still a tasty drink. Vanilla isn't at all overdone and it meshes well with the coffee. Slight graininess is detectable. Simple, but tasty.

3.0 M: Lighter body. A little more carbonation that is necessary, but it isn't really a bad thing. The only thing I don't like is that it's lacking creaminess. Otherwise, very smooth.

3.5 D: I enjoyed this, but I won't lie to you and say it's a good beer. The adjuncts are way more powerful than the beer itself. In any case, it's a tasty drink.

Photo of DrinkSlurm
3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into tulip. Nice brown with tan head - slightly reddish hue. Awesome vanilla and slight chocolate roasty aroma.
Mild brown caramel and vanilla flavor...quite nice. Its a bit thin and lacking in body but drinks really easy. Its almost a very dark brown ale more than a porter, but is in general a pretty good brew. Not sure why such low reviews...maybe because its a little thin, but the flavor is there. For almost 8% abv, this drinks insanely smooth...feels like its 4%. I definitely reccomend this one...

Photo of buschbeer
4.17/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle
Served in a perfect pint glass

A - It has a dark brown body with ruby highlights. I rather timid pour yielded a half a glass of tan head.

S - At first I didn't get much, but as it warmed the chocolate and vanilla aromas came out.

T - It starts out with some chocolate and then I get some vanilla in the middle. Some chocolate lingers on my palate after each drink.

M - Medium

O - I really like this beer. I have only had it on tap until this serving, and the bottle lived up to the draft. I would be satisfied with drinking this all winter.

Photo of Flounder57
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

12 oz bottle was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: A one finger mocha head was poured that reduced to nothing. It is a pitch black color with no vision of anything.

Smell: Vanilla, roasted strong coffee, milk chocolate, doughy, and confectioners sugar.

Taste: Milk chocolate robust vanilla brownies. It's crazy delicious.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, a little sweet, medium bodied, and medium carbonation.

Overall: Pretty tasty porter. All the extra features make thus an exceptional beer.

Photo of macrosmatic
3.34/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Reviewed from notes. Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Russian River pint glass.

A: Dark brown, but fairly translucent. Forms a thin light tan head with a low amount of visible carbonation.

S: Brown toasted malts and some nutty sweetness. That's about it.

T: Roasted malts up front, then has a vanilla and hazelnut sweetness in the middle to end. Some restrained coffee flavor near the end. Light roasted bitterness with vanilla in the hang with just a touch of medicinal astringency.

M: This has a thin body for a porter (especially for one self-described as "Imperial"), but not quite watery. Carbonation sensation on the low side, moderate alcohol flavor.

O: It's not awful. But there are an awful lot of better porters out there to be drank. Can't recommend this one, but if I was at a party and it was what was available, I wouldn't refuse.

Photo of hosehead83
3.19/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a "stubby" 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Ruby/brown in color, with a moderate head of thin foam.
Aroma-Roast coffee
Taste-Sweet vanilla bean, chocolate, coffee, underlying roastiness carries to the finish but not enough to counterbalance the almost cloying sweet vanilla. Dare I say vanilla bomb? Maybe not that bad, but man, vanilla seems to take over this brew"s flavor. More balance needed.

Photo of Ryan011235
2.27/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured into a snifter on 1/11/12

Dark brown with a slight grape juicy highlight at the stem. A bubbly, one finger head thins out quickly, leaving a skim over most of the top of the beer. No lace. The Roebling beckons no merriment.

The aroma finds our a rag-tag band of cocoa powder, chocolate fudge, vanilla and coffee beans wandering from the earthy landscapes of forest toward the metallic charge of industrialization and, having grown inclined to rest, are now in not-too-far proximity of a campfire.

After a short sleep on topsy-turvy ground, our heroes make a breakfast concoction of last night's cold coffee, pan-roasted bitter chocolate and vanilla from a bottle that dropped and broke in the dirt. Tangy, roasted and bitter flavors pick at their wiry bones.

Not one for a hearty breakfast, coffee beans procures and adds a large dram of club soda; seems he prefers things on the thin and bubbly side.

The finished product not being the most pleasing, our heroes decide to drink it regardless. After all, it's better than hitting one's head against the wall.

Photo of wvsabbath
3.36/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Brown/dark tan with a very minimal head and slight lacing.

Smell - Sweet malts, vanilla, chocolate, coffee, honey and brown sugar. Bitter plum and raisin.

Taste - First sip is roasty malts, chocolate, honey and brown sugar. Coffee comes in near the finish and provides a bitter, bold flavor. Vanilla is tasted throughout the whole drink. Pretty much a 1-2 punch in flavor.

Mouthfeel - Tongue gets malts, chocolate and sugars, where palate gets mostly coffee with some raisin. Aftertaste is coffee bitter.

Overall - Pretty simple, straight forward beer. Nothing special, nothing done well, just solid and simple.

Photo of secondtooth
3.59/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deepest brown/black in appearance, with a small, single-finger head and almost no lace at all. Not impressive.

Nose is sweet chocolate. Unusual but appealing.

Taste is deliciously brownie-like at first, with more fudge or chocolate and only a hint of coffee. Overall flavor is a bit sour, though, but otherwise I downed this with no trouble. If this is an "imperial", I get no sense of a heightened alcohol content. Nonetheless, I enjoyed this one.

Photo of snaotheus
3.51/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2014-11-23. Review entered from notes.
12oz bottle poured into a little plastic hotel cup. Bottle code is 17061434B10154, but I have no idea what that means. I would guess it's either best by or bottled on 2014-06-17.

Pours black, with a small beige head that fades very fast. Not much carbonation. Smell is rich dark malt, black cherry and black licorice. Maybe overripe plum.

Taste is very powerful vanilla (to me -- my wife didn't think so). Sweet, sort of molassesy.

Mouthfeel is too still. Overall, not bad. Too sweet, too still. Too much vanilla.

Photo of Spider889
2.32/5  rDev -37%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

On draft at Bodega:

Served in a shaker pint. Black, no head, no lace.

Smells of vanilla extract, cocoa beans, and heady dark english malts.

The flavor isn't exactly bad, but the vanilla flavor is overwhelming and artificial. It overshadows everything else (aside, maybe, from the Hershey chocolate syrup flavor).

Medium bodied with lower than adequate carbonation.

I wound up giving up on the attempt to finish this glass and just ordered something else instead.

Photo of ckollias
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed this brew on tap at Tony’s in Athens Ohio out of a pint glass.

A: Pours a brown hue with a minimal off-white lace.

S: Malty aroma with a coffee backbone.

T: Slightly astringent coffee notes with a semi-smooth flavor that finishes on the sweet/tart
side of dry.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: Decent porter – worthy of a try.

Photo of Beejay
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Updated review 8-22-2012

A: Dark brown in color. Caramel color in the head, nice and full with frog eyes slowly taking over the full head.

S: Rich chocolate and Vanilla come out at first, with coffee backing it up. Like smelling a dark roast coffee with vanilla beans. Rich and beautiful.

T: This is the porter I remember. Vanilla and Coffee infused into a deep dark chocolate. Sweet, but bold. I like it a lot.

M: Medium to medium thick. The carbonation is a little on the high side in my opinion, the finish is a little astringent with dark malts finishing it out. Still not the creamy texture I want. Were this on nitro tap it would be fantastic.

O: Overall very good. I'm glad that whatever issues the brewery had with this beer seem to have been resolved.

---

Original Review 10-22-2011 (2.78)
A: Medium brown as it pours, in the glass it is black. The head is soft and creamy looking and tan in color. (4.0)

S: Some nice bready notes that I associate more with British yeasts. Notes of Vanilla, and coffee with dark roasted grains in the finish. (3.5)

T: Definitely vanilla, with some notes of coffee. There is almost a tart note in this that I am not in love with. The finish is roasted grain, a touch of coffee, and there is a slight metallic flavor in it. (2.5)

M: Medium thin in body, the carbonation seems a tad high. (2.5)

O: Overall I am not very impressed by this beer. I had it on tap once, and recall it being quite delicious, but the bottled version seems a bit off to me. I decided to taste a second bottle, and the flavor is the same.The bottle describes it as: "Like a big, chewy, vanilla, coffee infused brownie." That is not what it tastes like. (2.5)

Photo of Tilley4
3.18/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Picked up a single of this a few days ago... stepped out front with a Partegas this morning and brought this along with me...

Extremely subdued aromas present here... the roasted malts don't even jump out... they are there as is a little vanilla and maybe a kiss of hops but for the most part this seems rather non descript...

Roasted malts dominate pretty much as expected... hints of some hops here and there as well as a little vanilla...reminds. me more of a schwarzbier with the thin palate on it... not sure there's anything "Robust" going on here but its not offensive either... not detecting the booze so its well hidden... not getting much vanilla either...

This isn't a bad beer but it isn't anything I care to seek out... I'd drink it on tap at a bar but wont be making any trips to the stote with this on my list if you get my drift...

Photo of BB1313
3.17/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours black with some brown hues, kakhi head that fades and leaves a little lacing. The aromas are subtle and full of chocolate malts, vanilla bean, and expresso. The flavors are full of black coffee and cream. This one has a solid sweetness to it, although remains somewhat bitter. The flavors are solid, but a little watered down. Mouthfeel is very solid. It's light, but fluffy and creamy. There's a refreshing smoothness going on. The active carbonation makes this an extremely easy drinking beer. The alcohol goes completely unnoticed. There's no way I would've guessed this beer was almost 8% abv.

This is a solid beer, but nothing too special.

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Roebling Imperial Robust Porter from Rivertown Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 251 ratings.